This is the first installment of Bob Vila’s Most Valuable Projects of 2022, a month-long series of high-ROI home improvements. Each week, we draw on our extensive library of educational content, vetted buyer’s guides and connections to industry experts to present the fundamentals of this year’s top projects.
Kitchen renovations come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing is certain: they increase property value. Even if you don’t intend to sell your home in the next few months, but simply want to make it more livable while you’re staying for a while, return on investment (ROI) can be a helpful factor in determining which home improvement projects to tackle and when. With an estimated ROI of 71 percent, according to the Remodeling 2022 Cost vs. Value Report, a kitchen remodel is a priority.
You also don’t have to completely hollow out your existing space, remove load-bearing walls, or splurge on high-end furnishings to achieve ROI. Even modest kitchen updates like refurbishing existing cabinets or swapping out old appliances for new, more efficient models can enhance a home’s aesthetics and functionality while you live in it and increase its value when you decide to sell it.
Of course, improvements can be interpreted differently by homeowners and prospective home buyers, so don’t settle for updates that aren’t beneficial to you and your home now. It’s best to consider the individual projects within a makeover and select the ones that will have the greatest impact on your day-to-day life and the final, cohesive look you desire.
Once you’ve determined what you’re tackling and how much you’re willing to spend, you can find ways to reduce construction costs and minimize waste – both of which are paramount to any home improvement project today.
Ready for a kitchen remodel? Read on for the key considerations, cost estimates, how-to guides, expert-recommended products, material comparisons, and cost-saving solutions you need to know.
Like most kitchen items, cabinets come in a variety of styles and prices. Replacing or refreshing with paint, DIY, or hiring a professional are some of the most important decisions when planning this project. The following articles detail the details so you can achieve the look you want at a price that fits your budget.
6 things to know before you buy
Popular types of kitchen cabinets
The best kitchen cabinets of 2022
The average cost of kitchen cabinets
How to install kitchen cabinets yourself
Should you paint your cabinets instead of replacing them?
The best color for cabinets
How to repair cabinets
How to paint kitchen cabinets
The average cost of painting cabinets
Replacing old laminate countertops with engineered stone — arguably the most popular choice today according to the Houzz Kitchen Trends study — is a major kitchen renovation project. For this reason, it’s important to carefully compare different countertop materials with trendy options like quartz, as each differs in terms of durability, maintenance, cost, and potential resale value.
Popular types of countertops
All about technical quartz
The Average Cost of Quartz Countertops
Quartz vs Quartzite
Quartz vs Granite
Quartz vs solid surface
Quartz vs Marble
The Best Countertop Installers of 2022
Energy efficient devices
It’s no secret that old devices use more energy and cost more money to run than newer models. Investing in appliance upgrades not only pays off in the long term by helping increase home value, but also helps reduce utility bills in the short term. And incentives like discounts on Energy Star-certified purchases can help home improvement recoup even more of the upfront cost. When shopping for new kitchen appliances, consider the following researched buying guides and expert recommendations.
The best kitchen appliance brands of 2022
The best places to buy home appliances
The best time to buy new gadgets at a discount
How long do kitchen appliances last?
Replace devices instead of repairing them 9 times
The best home appliance repair services of 2022
Hardwood floors are both trendy and timeless, but they’re not always the best choice for spill-prone kitchens. Materials like vinyl plank and laminate, on the other hand, can mimic the attractive design of hardwood while offering greater durability, moisture resistance, and cost savings. Bonus: Vinyl plank and laminate flooring are also easier for DIYers to install compared to traditional hardwood, offering even more ways to reduce kitchen remodeling costs.
Pros and cons of hardwood in the kitchen
The average cost of hardwood floors
The best vinyl plank floors of 2022
The average cost of installing vinyl plank floors
How to install vinyl plank flooring yourself
The best laminate floor 2022
The average cost of installing laminate flooring
How to lay laminate floors yourself
sink and faucet
Replacing the sink and faucet is another small project that can make a big difference in the kitchen. The sink and faucet are often a combined update with new countertops, offering opportunities to add even more functionality and personality to the overall design.
Unless you plan to change the position of the sink/faucet fixture – which would require rerouting the plumbing lines – the cost of this project will depend largely on the specific products you select. The following advice will help you narrow down the wide range of choices to find a kitchen sink and faucet that suits your needs, style and budget.
Popular types of kitchen sinks
The best kitchen sinks of 2022
The average cost of hiring a plumber
How to install a kitchen sink yourself
Don’t forget the garbage disposal
Popular types of kitchen faucets
The best kitchen faucets of 2022
How to install kitchen faucets yourself
A splashback is designed to protect the walls in various “splash zones” in a kitchen, such as around the sink and stove, and therefore needs to be easy to clean. A backsplash can also serve as the focal point of the room. Tile typically combines function and form, making it a material of choice in this part of the kitchen. It also offers plenty of customization options, ranging from bold colors and interesting shapes to muted tones and simple lines.
Tiling a backsplash is also a DIY-friendly project that requires minimal tools, especially if you choose to install peel-and-stick tiles that don’t require mastic to stick to the wall.
Popular types of tiles
The average cost of laying tiles
How to tile a backsplash yourself
How many tiles do you need?
The best peel and stick tile of 2022
Dos and don’ts when using peel and stick tiles
It could be argued that lighting is the unsung hero behind a successful kitchen remodel. It helps define spaces, increase security and express style. If you choose double duty ceiling fan lights, these lights can even increase airflow to cool the kitchen and reduce steam, smoke and odors when cooking – perfect when the range hood isn’t enough.
To maximize the potential of each zone in the kitchen, a mix of ambient, task and accent lighting is recommended. Check out the researched buying guides below to see which lights the Bob Vila team recommends for each type of lighting. Then weigh the cost of hiring an electrician against the complexity of doing it yourself to determine which installation method is right for you.
Important kitchen lighting considerations
The best recessed luminaire of 2022
The best pendant lights of 2022
The best track lighting of 2022
The best under cabinet lighting 2022
The best ceiling fans of 2022
The average cost of installing a ceiling fan
DIY ceiling fan installation